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Dover, an appreciation, 1912

This extract is from Alan Briscoe’s log which opens on 11 June, 1912. We find out that the skipper is sailing into Admiralty harbour to anchor in Wick after a three week cruise in Holland. As the swell increases and wind blows stronger, our skipper decides to sail into the inner harbour to moor on the mud for a shilling. The following night is described in some detail, as much more unsettled, with more bad weather the following day. Briscoe’s illustrated account is most readable, finishing on 18 June with the observation:

Dover harbour, taken from every point of view, is I think the most unpleasant place I know for a small craft. The dock where alone peace can be proocured at a price (1d. a ton), is not a clean berth, even as docks. Anywhere outside the swell gets at you; while the difficulties and dangers of getting in or out of the harbour, particularly the Western entrance are enough to condemn it as a haven of refuge.

Alan Briscoe, ‘The Yachting Monthly’, 1912. Re-published with permission in ‘Dreams and their Realisations’, by Frank Zomerdijk, 2015.